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Discuss Intellivision, Atari, Colecovision, Nintendo, and More! » The Atari Section » The Atari Forum » Starpath Supercharger

Starpath Supercharger

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1 Starpath Supercharger on Mon 27 Aug 2012, 10:29 pm

sloan

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I got Stella Gets a New Brain in the mail today and paid for a Supercharger tonight. It should arrive within the week, and I am excited.

Question: Using the Stella Gets a New Brain CD, all I need is a portable CD player with a headphone jack? Can the ROM's from the CD be easily transferred to cassette tape? I bought a used portable tape recorder/player a couple weeks ago for this purpose.

Any advice is appreciated.

2 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Mon 27 Aug 2012, 11:50 pm

TrekMD

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sloan wrote:I got Stella Gets a New Brain in the mail today and paid for a Supercharger tonight. It should arrive within the week, and I am excited.

Question: Using the Stella Gets a New Brain CD, all I need is a portable CD player with a headphone jack? Can the ROM's from the CD be easily transferred to cassette tape? I bought a used portable tape recorder/player a couple weeks ago for this purpose.

Any advice is appreciated.

You're going to like what the Supercharger does for the 2600. Its version of Frogger kills many other home versions. Do you know which version of Stella Gets a New Brain you got? There are 2 versions. I've never transferred the CD files into tapes. I suppose you could but if you have the CD player with a headphone jack, you should be fine. You should also be able to convert the files to mp3 format and use an mp3 player. I've heard of some folks doing that.


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3 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Tue 28 Aug 2012, 5:55 pm

sloan

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I don't know the version. There are two CD writable discs, one labeled Stella Audio and the other labeled Stella Data. The book looks official and says, "Cyberpunks 1996" on it. I am at a loss for why there are two discs. What does the audio disc do for me?

What is the difference between the two versions of Stella Gets a New Brain? More games on one than on the other? Improved versions on one?

4 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Tue 28 Aug 2012, 7:19 pm

TrekMD

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Version 2 has more games and it includes a soundtrack (music). As far as I know, Version 1 is only one disc. Are these original looking CD's?


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5 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Tue 28 Aug 2012, 8:41 pm

sloan

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TrekMD wrote:Version 2 has more games and it includes a soundtrack (music). As far as I know, Version 1 is only one disc. Are these original looking CD's?

OK, then I must have version 2 because I have a separate data and audio CD. These are definite copied discs on Memorex CD-R media with titles written in sharpie marker. The book looks like an original with professional quality pictures and text though. I bought this copy through a website called Hozer Games on a recommendation from an old thread over at AA. Is there another source you know of that sells the "real deal" Stella Gets a New Brain discs with professionally done labeling?

6 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Tue 28 Aug 2012, 10:02 pm

TrekMD

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I purchased mine off ebay a few years ago. It seems as though they burned you a copy of the data and took the music into a separate disc. I don't know why they did that at all since it's all on one CD anyway. I honestly don't know why people would sell a copy. I hope they didn't charge you much for it.


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7 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Tue 28 Aug 2012, 10:20 pm

sloan

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$2 for SGANB plus $2.99 shipping fee. Don't think that was too bad.

8 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Wed 29 Aug 2012, 12:11 am

TrekMD

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sloan wrote:$2 for SGANB plus $2.99 shipping fee. Don't think that was too bad.

Well, at least they didn't rip you off. But still, I have a problem with someone selling copies. If they made them and gave it to you for the cost of shipping only, I'd be ok.


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9 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Wed 29 Aug 2012, 5:57 pm

sloan

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I am glad to be able to get a copy. There are none up on ebay atm.

I figure maybe $2 covers the cost of CD-r discs plus the printed book materials.

10 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Thu 30 Aug 2012, 1:10 pm

onthinice

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Sounds like a good deal! Hope you let us know if you like the offficial Frogger?

11 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Thu 30 Aug 2012, 9:59 pm

sloan

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I got the Supercharger today and I was pumped. Put in Stella Gets a New Brain, and it has 72 ROM's, some homebrews and protos along with the stock Starpath games. Sweet.

Then, I tried to play Official Frogger and it looks like its loading, but comes back and says "rewind tape". Bummer. Same with Rabbit Transit and Sword of Saros. The ROM's must be corrupted on those three games.

I will be contacting Hozer Games, but maybe I shouldn't complain for so cheap. All the other games I tried seemed to work OK.

Frogger and Rabbit Transit looked like the best two games on the disc though. Neutral

12 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 12:32 am

TrekMD

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I wonder if the disc may be corrupted or if the original was corrupted. I had that problem with the original tape of Frogger and had to use the alternate side (thankfully it has one!) to load the game. I have mostly used the CD for the games I don't have on tape but I'll see if I can test my Stella CD for those two games specifically.


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13 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 11:35 pm

sloan

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So, do they run from your official CD of Stella Gets a New Brain?

14 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Mon 03 Sep 2012, 7:19 pm

TrekMD

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sloan wrote:So, do they run from your official CD of Stella Gets a New Brain?

Sorry for the delay in answering. Yes, all of these games work just fine from my CD.


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15 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Mon 03 Sep 2012, 7:45 pm

sloan

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OK, thanks. I contacted Hozer Games and he says he is going to email me the .wma audio files for the defective ROM's. I don't know if that will solve it, but read that the original pressing of SGANB is sold out long ago and a Google search for Starpath ROM's turned up some torrent sites that look iffy and I have never been successful at downloading a torrent file anyway. No copies of Starpath Frogger to be found at ebay, and I am guessing they are expensive when they do turn up. I am still pretty bummed because I have heard great things about Starpath Frogger.

16 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Mon 03 Sep 2012, 8:12 pm

TrekMD

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sloan wrote:OK, thanks. I contacted Hozer Games and he says he is going to email me the .wma audio files for the defective ROM's. I don't know if that will solve it, but read that the original pressing of SGANB is sold out long ago and a Google search for Starpath ROM's turned up some torrent sites that look iffy and I have never been successful at downloading a torrent file anyway. No copies of Starpath Frogger to be found at ebay, and I am guessing they are expensive when they do turn up. I am still pretty bummed because I have heard great things about Starpath Frogger.

It is an excellent game. I could burn you a copy of my CD. That, hopefully, works fine.


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17 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Tue 04 Sep 2012, 8:36 pm

sloan

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I could paypal you shipping fees and any money you feel is needed to cover your time and trouble. Let me know.

18 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Tue 04 Sep 2012, 9:04 pm

TrekMD

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sloan wrote:I could paypal you shipping fees and any money you feel is needed to cover your time and trouble. Let me know.

You are welcome to send my the shipping money. Other than that consider it a gift. Smile


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19 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Wed 05 Sep 2012, 6:34 pm

sloan

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OK, pm me on email address to send paypal payment to. Amount to cover shipping, is $5 enough? Greatly appreciated.

20 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Sun 09 Sep 2012, 11:21 am

TrekMD

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Hey Sloan, sent you a PM. CD is done. Just need your mailing info. $3 is plenty to cover shipping.


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21 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Sun 09 Sep 2012, 6:19 pm

sloan

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I am stoked to play Starpath Frogger.

22 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Sun 09 Sep 2012, 6:26 pm

TrekMD

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sloan wrote:I am stoked to play Starpath Frogger.

Smile


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23 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Sun 09 Sep 2012, 6:34 pm

onthinice

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Mad I am glad someone is stoked because I feel left out! Laughing

24 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Sun 09 Sep 2012, 6:35 pm

TrekMD

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onthinice wrote: Mad I am glad someone is stoked because I feel left out! Laughing

Do you have a SuperCharger as well?


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25 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Sun 09 Sep 2012, 6:42 pm

onthinice

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No, that is why I feel left out. Sad

26 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Sun 09 Sep 2012, 6:44 pm

TrekMD

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onthinice wrote:No, that is why I feel left out. Sad

Ah, I though you were feeling left out because you didn't have Frogger for the Supercharger. Smile You can certainly play the game through simulation, though, if you want to try it out. It works properly with Stella.


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27 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Sun 09 Sep 2012, 6:47 pm

onthinice

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That is cool! Did not mean to derail the thread.

28 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Sun 09 Sep 2012, 6:53 pm

sloan

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If you watch, they can be had for less than $50 on ebay. I bought mine recently that way and feel it was well worth the price.

29 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Sun 09 Sep 2012, 6:56 pm

onthinice

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I will keep my eyes open!

30 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Sun 09 Sep 2012, 7:19 pm

TrekMD

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I will add to sloan's words. The Supercharger is definitely a great add-on to get for the 2600. It is unfortunate the timing for it wasn't very good as the crash stopped development of games for it. I always wondered what else could be accomplished had they continued developing games for it.


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31 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Fri 14 Sep 2012, 9:13 pm

sloan

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Well, the Stella Gets a New Brain CD arrived from TrekMd yesterday. I was busy with studying for my degree program, so no time to try it last night. Tonight, same story, super busy with an unplanned trip to the city, about 45 minutes from here, to see my oldest brother. Hopefully, tomorrow will give me time to play Frogger for the first time. Thanks so much for everything, TrekMD.

32 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Fri 14 Sep 2012, 9:44 pm

TrekMD

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sloan wrote:Well, the Stella Gets a New Brain CD arrived from TrekMd yesterday. I was busy with studying for my degree program, so no time to try it last night. Tonight, same story, super busy with an unplanned trip to the city, about 45 minutes from here, to see my oldest brother. Hopefully, tomorrow will give me time to play Frogger for the first time. Thanks so much for everything, TrekMD.

Glad that you got it! Let us know how you like the game!


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33 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Fri 14 Sep 2012, 11:48 pm

sloan

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OK, got home late and had to try this out.

I am sad to say that tracks 8 and 9, Rabbit Transit and Frogger according to the book I received with my earlier copy, continue to try to load and then return a "rewind tape" message instead of going onto the game startup screens.

I tried TrekMD's CD on a walkman-style CD player, and a boombox type CD player, but both returned the same results.

I get the feeling that it is either (a) the files were corrupted on the original SGANB CD (TrekMD, could you verify that tracks 8 and 9 are working properly on your original copy?) or (b) somehow in copying to CD-R media something is getting corrupted.

As far as theory b goes, I cannot figure why it would just corrupt those two ROM files and no others. I was playing a space shooter ala defender on file number 3 or 4, and a Space Invaders clone on file number 73, so those ROM's copied fine.

Hmmmmmm.........

34 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Sat 15 Sep 2012, 10:09 am

TrekMD

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You are using the wrong track numbers for Frogger and Rabbit Transit. Tracks 8 and 9 are part of Escape from the Mind Master. That is why it keeps asking that you get the message. You can only load those when you get the instruction to do so while playing the game. The correct tracks for Frogger and Rabbit Transit are 15 and 14 respectively. Looks like the instruction book you got is wrong. I wonder what other tracks it has mislabeled.


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35 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Sat 15 Sep 2012, 4:46 pm

sloan

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Oh my. For all fans of VCS, Starpath Supercharger is a must have.

Frogger is just like the arcade, and nothing like the Parker Brothers version. Rabbit Transit is similar to Q*bert on the second level, and very fun overall.

All the games I have played so far are crisp on graphics and excellent on sound, almost like the 2600 has taken steroids or something. It truly is a shame that the crash happened and this device did not see more game development.

36 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Sat 15 Sep 2012, 4:53 pm

TrekMD

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sloan wrote:Oh my. For all fans of VCS, Starpath Supercharger is a must have.

Frogger is just like the arcade, and nothing like the Parker Brothers version. Rabbit Transit is similar to Q*bert on the second level, and very fun overall.

All the games I have played so far are crisp on graphics and excellent on sound, almost like the 2600 has taken steroids or something. It truly is a shame that the crash happened and this device did not see more game development.

Glad you were finally able to enjoy the games! Smile Yes, the Supercharger is quite something for the 2600. I wish someone would make more games for it now. I'm amazed that no homebrewer has decided to explore the potential of the Supercharger.


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37 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Sat 15 Sep 2012, 5:11 pm

sloan

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Do you know the exact reason that graphics and sound are so much better with Supercharger? Did they incorporate some extra RAM inside the Supercharger itself. Were the ROM's somehow larger on cassette tape than they could squeeze into standard cartridges, and that allowed for coding of crisper graphics and sound in those games?

38 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Sat 15 Sep 2012, 5:36 pm

sloan

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TrekMD wrote:I'm amazed that no homebrewer has decided to explore the potential of the Supercharger.

I will venture a guess that ROM files on cassette or CD do not appeal to homebrewers due to piracy issues. Think about how easy it might be for someone to copy and distribute the ROM file from a Starpath game. After all, you copied the entire library and gave it to me. Not so many have the ability to easily glean the ROM image from a cartridge, so that is most likely why the homebrew scene migrates to that format. Just my 2¢.

39 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Sat 15 Sep 2012, 5:44 pm

TrekMD

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sloan wrote:Do you know the exact reason that graphics and sound are so much better with Supercharger? Did they incorporate some extra RAM inside the Supercharger itself. Were the ROM's somehow larger on cassette tape than they could squeeze into standard cartridges, and that allowed for coding of crisper graphics and sound in those games?

The Supercharger uses extra RAM, several times more than what the 2600 has. This is why the games look significantly better. Of course, getting carts with extra memory was already happening at the time this was release which allowed for better 2600 graphics but this saved them from having to spend the money on hardware for carts.


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40 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Sat 15 Sep 2012, 5:46 pm

TrekMD

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sloan wrote:
TrekMD wrote:I'm amazed that no homebrewer has decided to explore the potential of the Supercharger.

I will venture a guess that ROM files on cassette or CD do not appeal to homebrewers due to piracy issues. Think about how easy it might be for someone to copy and distribute the ROM file from a Starpath game. After all, you copied the entire library and gave it to me. Not so many have the ability to easily glean the ROM image from a cartridge, so that is most likely why the homebrew scene migrates to that format. Just my 2¢.

Unfortunately, there is a risk of this happening even with carts. Someone can take the ROM info from a cart and dump it. That is what has happened with Jaguar games in the past. All it takes is one person to do it for the ROMs to become available. I know tapes would not be the way to go but certainly mp3 files or CD's with games could be made.


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41 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Sat 15 Sep 2012, 6:02 pm

sloan

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TrekMD wrote:
The Supercharger uses extra RAM, several times more than what the 2600 has. This is why the games look significantly better. Of course, getting carts with extra memory was already happening at the time this was release which allowed for better 2600 graphics but this saved them from having to spend the money on hardware for carts.

This brings to mind also that developers could have saved big cash by not having to put the additional RAM into each and every game cartridge. The Supercharger had it inside, so the games themselves would have been exponentially cheaper to produce. Unfortunately, a single company (Arcadia/Starpath) owned rights to this device, so that most likely precluded game developers from releasing games on it. It would have been nice if Atari themselves would have released the Supercharger as an add-on device, almost like Sega CD or Turbo CD that came for later systems. Then, game developers could have jumped onboard, and the results could have been truly impressive, from what I have seen so far.

42 Re: Starpath Supercharger on Sat 15 Sep 2012, 7:21 pm

TrekMD

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Someone just posted about the Supercharger on AA, so I asked the question as to why homebrewers have not chosen to use the features of the Supercharger when developing games. Smile


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